My Turkey, My Turkey, My Heaven
After the coup attempt in 2016, the ruling party's dominant narrative steered into a more populist and extreme nationalist direction in Turkey. In addition to the dark history of oppression in the country, consisting of military coups, never-ending oppression and violation of the fundamental rights of minorities, the dominant rhetoric of the ruling party is getting out of control. In this fictional political universe of populism, the crowds are warmongering, yearning to implement the death penalty and blaming external 'evil' forces for every issue in the country. This populist discourse avoids taking responsibility, glorifying death, labelling every different voice as terrorists and seeing the opposition as pro-western infidels. Combined with the partisan media's support, the rhetoric is spreading via news, propaganda documentaries, and historical TV series. There is an increasing amount of TV shows about the Ottoman Empire era, reminding the "glorious past" stories to strengthen this nationalist discourse while denigrating the values of the modern-day democracy in Turkey. These shows often distort the historical facts and re-write history to justify the current political ground. Thus, the line between fiction and reality is getting blurry. In this paranoid climate, it is very likely to see the effects of the polarisation in the street, in public discussions, even in children's games, almost every degree of daily life. The populist nationalist ideology permeates and manifests itself in unexpected places.
“My Turkey” is an experimental documentary film depicting the current political landscape of Turkey via the tools of populist-nationalist media. The title “My Turkey” comes from a well-known propaganda song ordered by commanders from the Turkish Armed Forces after the 1980 coup. This event marked the most infamous military intervention in Turkey’s history. The song was played endlessly on loop in prisons as a form of torture.
“My Turkey” is a two-channel video installation made out of found footage. The film plays in a continuous loop with fragmented video pieces simultaneously playing on two screens facing each other. Through re-appropriation and juxtaposition, I aim to create an alternative narrative with the material given by those in power.